The Carrot Principle…It makes sense!

The Carrot Principle…It makes sense!

To grow a carrot, one needs to start with setting the right environment to plant a seed. The soil needs to be balanced with right nutrients, moisture and texture to set it up for success.

The Carrot Principle outlines a five step process to develop leaders for tomorrow. I’m bought in hook, line and sinker with this theory and have adopted this for myself many years ago because it makes sense.

If you nurture, foster and provide a clear vision for tomorrow, you will set your talent up for success. It takes continuous coaching/mentoring and redirection as the need arises to ensure success however nothing is more important than grid, perseverance and sheer determination to be the best you can be.

As positude leaders, you will always be on the look out for the next leader and you should be open-minded to find them just about anywhere you go including the McDonald’s drive-up window.

Look for passion, train and coach for skill, knowledge and ability.

Trust your instincts.

W

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E x R = O….Just that Simple!

E x R = O….Just that Simple!

No matter where you go or what you do, you are being watched, judged and reported on. This holds especially true in service industries like hospitals, clinics or service centers. You are only as good as your last interaction.

Let’s take a look at one of my failures as a medical provider from which I learned much. As a clinician, I pride myself to be in-tune with my patients and give them the appropriate attention at all times. Not easy by any stretch of the imagination however a necessary evil of consistent non-biased patient care.

One night, I got distracted, tired of responding to the same patient on multiple of occasion for reasons unknown. I felt sorry for myself instead of feeling for this patient in her state of emergency. I barreled into her house like a big old tank, barking out orders, demanding her to get up to walk to the ambulance so I could get back to bed as soon as possible. Of course, we all know what happened a few days later. My employer received a complaint about my behavior and lack of caring for this patient.

She was RIGHT, I didn’t give her much empathy or the dignity she deserved. It was a wake-up call for me to adjust my own behavior by raising my self-awareness. It was not my emergency after all. A lesson learned the hard way.

This incident also made me a better leader by grasping the difficulty of consistent right behaviors in a stressful setting such as an emergency room, front desk or busy office.

As positude leaders, we need to find better ways to support our staff to avoid negative interactions. We need to think outside of the box to come up with creative ways to reduce stress on the frontlines by allowing regular breaks from high pressure situations without losing capacity and productivity not unlike lifeguard at your local community pool.

To be a high performance team, we need to not just get it right some of the time but get it right 100% of the time. It is a steep hill to climb however our customers/patients deserve nothing less from us.

The best advise I can give you is to always put yourself in the shoes of the customer.

E x R = O….. it’s our response to an event that determines the outcome.

-W

Special acknowledgement to M. Frisina Founder and Senior Research Scholar at The Center for Influential Leadership.

Do you know your business?

Do you know your business?

Should you front line staff member have an understanding of your P&L? Should your Chief Financial Officer know how to make donuts? The answer is “YES”, all members of the team should understand the business. No need to become a subject matter expert however a basic understanding of the process will connect the dots for both.

The C-Suite needs to remember that people are actually involved in the process of delivering a service or product and at the same time, the front line needs to develop knowledge about the actual cost to produce. Same holds true for all functions in between the front line and C-Suite.

Start a program “Walk-a-mile in my shoes” for all staff members to observe and experience each others jobs. Not only will it provide a better understanding and appreciation for each function, it often leads to better processes.

Everyday excellence starts with “Knowing your Business”. As a positude leader, you are going to work proactively to ensure all members of the team have exposure to key processes and insights of the business cycle.

I encourage my staff to replicate what we do on the executive level down to the next level, as they should encourage their managers to do the same. Although the scope will be smaller, the steps are similar allowing each member to develop a much deeper understanding of the process.

Make time to lead from the front, it starts by being transparent, collaborative and understanding your business. If you don’t know, ask!

-W

Balance…Get some!

Balance…Get some!

Newton’s third law is: For every actionthere is an equal and opposite reaction. As leaders, we have to be mindful of this phenomenon as we implement new processes or when we make large-scale system changes. In physics, Newton’s third law holds true however in business if not mindful, we can get out of balance rather quickly which could be detrimental on the bottom line.

As a change leader, I’m often right in the middle of driving creativity and out-of-the box thinking to develop a new best way of doing things. Although I challenge my teams to push the limits, I also remind them of the possible consequences of change.

I’m a big advocate of experimenting new solutions to gauge for downstream unintended consequences before scaling it throughout the organization.

In the same sense of the word, I’m deeply appreciative for those who push back or challenge my vision for the future. To drive change and transformation, we need checks and balances throughout the system. Too often, team members just go along for the ride without questioning the boss which is not necessarily a great thing.

Respectful challenge is a necessary evil to find the sweet spot of change. As a positude leader, it is your responsibility to not only find the right team members but more importantly set the environment by inviting critical feedback.

Pushing the limits while maintaining your equilibrium will allow you to push the envelope while remaining mindful of unforeseen downstream consequences. In other words, keeping it real!

-W

 

To Solve a Problem…..

To Solve a Problem…..

Alcoholics are destined for predetermined pathways over their life time. They either drink themselves to death living life in denial, struggle with alcoholism with periods of recovery but often resorting back to what numbs their pains or find recovery only once they admitted they had a “problem” and their lives have become unmanageable!

I got news for all of you, this “problem” can be restated into any business or life style. One can only recover or progress once one recognized, internalize and “accepts” the problem at hand.

It sounds dramatic when speaking about alcoholism or opiate addictions because death is a reality when counter steps are not taken however small business problems can become big problems, too often leading to failures of great magnitude.

As a positude leader, one needs to continuously assess and re-assess your current state identifying potential “problems” that hold you back from operational excellence, proficiency and profits.

Denial is your biggest enemy and will hold you back from reaching your fullest potential. To be open to feedback, critique and opportunity, one must learn to receive, process and respond mind fully without reacting from the gut.

A great lesson I was once taught allows you to pick up simple clues without reacting to the first negative message.

  1. Walter your hair looks funny…….. think to yourself… #$#%^ you
  2. Walter your hair looks funny…….. think to yourself… whatever
  3. Walter your hair looks funny…….. Stop and to go to nearest mirror to fix my hair

A “problem” can be any “process” in your business cycle, if you stay in tune and listen to your surroundings or be observant to what your metrics tell you, you too can recover and prosper over time.

It all start with “Accepting” that a “Problem” exists!

-W

30 – Minute meetings…. Just Do It!

30 – Minute meetings…. Just Do It!

I always wonder how something got started. Adam & Eve, Chicken & Egg, Rock, Paper, Scissors, etc. Somewhere, somehow, someone established a norm and we too often conform without a challenge.

Look at your calendar for just a few minutes and count the number of meetings you have in any given week. Do you notice a trend? 90% of them are slotted for 60 minutes! Why? Who came up with this trend? Have you noticed that most meetings will go to the last minute before someone says “Let’s wrap it up”. Have you ever calculated or just mind fully observed how many minutes are wasted on non-value-added conversation.

I’m sure you will agree and it’s time to take back valuable minutes that could be spent doing things of great importance. But how? Great question to which I have a simple positude solution.

Starting on Monday morning, you are going to change the culture by changing your calendar invites. One meeting at the time! You will likely be a trend setter in your organization. Trust me, if you run an efficient meeting and give back time to the attendees, they will start adopting this strategy as well and love you for giving back their time.

Couple of things to keep in mind, set clear expectation for your meetings, share information at least 24-hour prior to the meeting allowing the attendees to absorb the info and generate questions prior to your face-to-face time. Most importantly, stay focused in your conversations, minimize side-bars and don’t allow non-value-added rambling. Don’t rush for the sake of beating the clock, give enough time for Q&A. Every minute less than 60 is one given back to the team.

Change the World around you on Monday morning and use the time gained to show “Love” to the team members on the front line. It will pay off in more ways than one!

-W

 

Inbox overload!….

Inbox overload!….

Our World has changed and transformed significantly over the past 20-years especially how we communicate with each other. Living in a 24/7/365 business cycle is placing a real burden on those that struggle with staying organized especially their inbox.

If you want to be a highly effective leader, you better find a way to manage the onslaught of emails coming your way each day. The solution to ignore it or let it build up beyond several days will lead to both added stress and missed opportunities.

Opportunities can be measured in lost revenue or inability to move up the career ladder. It’s the little things that you have to get right. Acknowledging your emails and meeting deadlines are modern-day necessities. Don’t let that inbox get away from you, control it like a wild bull in a corral.

As a positude leader, you are going to commit yourself to dedicating a part of your day to manage your inbox. My personal goal is to answer or at minimum acknowledge all emails within 24-hours. I file emails that contains vital information into a temp folder in outlook, respond to actionable emails and emails requiring an action from my staff are left in my active inbox till the loop is closed.

Think back to your days in high school or college, did you complete assignments on the first day or last day before due date? In school missing a deadline meant a small deduction in your grade, missing deadlines in the business world can lead to lost revenue or career opportunities.

Reduce your stress and maximize your potential by actively managing your inbox!

-W